Yes folks, today it’s December 1, 2014, the first day of summer down here in Australia, and it has now been three adventurous years we’ve had since the family touched down in Sydney back on December 1, 2011. What started out as a 2-3 year assignment has been extended to something more for us. Back then, I was worried about whether my daughter would have difficulty integrating into the Aussie school system, or whether the locals would ignore my wife, leaving her alone and longing to return to the USA. I never imagined that Mads would not only integrate, but thrive in the system down here. It didn’t occur to me that Susan would make deep, lasting friendships down here that has kept her content and busy, busy, busy! As a result, my family wants to stay on a little longer now! Well, OK…if you insist!
Here is what the girls looked like 3 years ago today…an anniversary throwback! Just 3 people and 11 suitcases, arriving in Oz as a family for the first time!
Since that day, the family has cruised around both Japan and New Zealand. We’ve snorkeled and helicoptered at the Great Barrier Reef and enjoyed the wildlife at Australia Zoo up in Queensland. Susan and I explored Tasmania at a yoga retreat–the farthest south we have ever been! Later we went to Gaia, Olivia Newton-John’s super spa up in Ballina. Susan and I flew up to Phuket, and explored healthy lifestyle options while getting a big dose of Thai culture. Mads took a trip to Canberra with her class (she has now been to 4 capital cities in 4 years!) But the best part of all this is the opportunity to live in the Northern Beaches area (Manly area). We’ve been so blessed to have spectacular scenery right outside our back door. It started with a landscaped back yard with loud Kookaburrras making a tremendous racket, then moved to an apartment with an amazing view, looking directly over Queenscliff Beach, and now we have a quieter and more peaceful view of Manly Lagoon out our back yard.
Yeah, it was definitely a risk to leave the USA and our lifestyle there. But it has paid off for us in experiences we won’t ever forget!
So here’s to the next 3 years of the Smiths in Oz!